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tv   [untitled]    June 6, 2011 8:00am-8:30am PDT

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r: so, what's the biggest issue in america today? segregation still exists... racism... the repression and oppression of women the educational system stem cell research homeless people cloning government health care taxation announcer: so, is there anything you're doing to help make a change? i'm not really doin' anything. ummmm [sighs] got me on that one...
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building inspection's brown bag lunch and today we will talk about energy efficiency changes
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that you can make in your home. is there anybody here who thinks we are not in an energy crisis right now? can we all agree we have energy problems? is there anybody here who has made any energy efficiency changes in their home already? yeah. we need a microphone. tell us what energy efficiency changes you have made in your home. >> well, i lowered my thermostat and replaced a lot of bulbs with compact floresents although i have trouble with the ones that are on dimmers i haven't found the bulbs for those yet. >> okay we can talk about that. anything else? >> i want to insulate i'm having trouble because my roof is very low and i can't figure out how to do it without replacing the roof. >> okay we can talk about that
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as well roof insulation is an effective use of capital resources for home improvement. we have to recognize that people have limited capital resources part of what we want to do today is talk about the reasonable priorities for your capital expenditures in your homes. anybody else done anything? >> over the years i replaced most of the lights with the comfact floresents. we had to have a roof replaced and at the same time we had blown in insulation put in. and just recently i did my windows and i contracted from regular double pane and the guy said i'll throw in 2 low e glass windows and when the windows arrived they were all low e glass. my cat doesn't like it because he sit necessary front of the window and it's not as warm as
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it used to be. >> low e means low e the idea means there is a film on the glass that's been bond todd it that prevents the heat from e essentially escaping. the idea it's actually retaining the heat in the space and not allowing as much to radiate out of the window. >> does it keep the heat from coming in his cat's on the inside. >> it depend on the coating you got there are a lot of different coatings. typically what you do on the south or western face of the building is make sure that you got a kind of coating that's actually going to keep a lot of the radiant heat out and prevent the glass from getting too hot and from hose solar rays coming in but it not reduce. let more of the solar heat coming in but not as much of the light reduction. you will be able to maintain
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most of the light coming in but keep out the radiation the solar radiant heat. >> low e glass is intended to allow you to retain heat within the building so that it doesn't emit from the building when it's cooler outside than inside; right ? and might serve to reduce the amount of heat gain from the outside to the inside? >> right. >> it sputter different kinds of metal on to the coating and so when the light hits it you have 2 components in sunlight, light and heat the idea it's reflecting most of the heat back out but the light is manage through that's what you want on your south facing windows. >> it's hard on your cat he's sitting in the sun but not getting the heat he's used. >> we have some plain double
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pane and he still finds those enjoyable. the house is a lot warmer. it's helped and helps with the noise, too. >> with noise? >> with noise. >> talk about the daubl pane windows. i want to mention how you are pointingous issues related to rfrt to you or your pets go beyond dollars and cents and there are subjective issues of how you want your life to be. who's comfort. we can say this is a reasonable return on your investment. there is always the other underlying group of factors we have to deal with, which is we are comfortable with certain things. we are comfortable usiing a gas stove or comfortable in certain ways and to change that is hard i understand if it's pets or us or my mother who lives with me
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has very set ways and if i start to change she gets uncomfortable. >> one of the benefits we found in the double pane windows you see the black soot on the inside of the windowsill when we went to double pane that went away it was quieter and cleaner and reduced the heat bills. >> most say they are an improvement for energy precious from a life cycle point of view they are not. i will say this for a couple of reasons may be you with help answer. a lot of people say new windows double or single paip almost all are double pane seal tightly but it reduces the amount of air infiltration in our homes and as a result we have a build up of moisture and more mold and mildew. we have other issues which have a spin off cost. we also have in the building department i see people come in
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for permits to replace their double pane windowes because they have a limited life span based on the seal of the propanes of glass much thigh are not for the life of the building. was there a warranty for the life span? >> the windows i have have a lifetime warranty. >> okay. >> i have seen now people cycle through one, two or more replacements of double pane windows when you look at the life cycle costs i theorize it may be good over the long run but we are adding. >> from a straight energy perspective you are right the life cycle costing is not as cost effective as other things you can do as replacing a refrigerator or compact floresent lamps because we have low heating or cooling degree
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days in san francisco. >> talk about mold and mildew. this is a serious problem in san francisco because of the humid environment and our climate and so on. i find as people build new homes which are very tightly sealed or remodel in ways that tighten them up we have more concerns about indoor air quality and some of that mold and mildew issues. my experience is ventilation with fresh air is that your experience as well? >> ventilation is important and there are ways of doing it that don't have an energy cost as with turnoth heat and blasting the furnace 24 hours a day. mold is from moisture or conden site that's when cold air or cold surface come in contact with the warm air you have in your home.
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you go to find out where you are creating the moisture in your house. how do you cook? do you put lids on the pot when is you boil water? do you have plants in your home. all of those contribute to the moisture in your house. then what's going on in the walls. if your house is essentially sucking cold air through every nook and craning there is every where there is a pipe or wire that come through your walls that's a place where it will get in. when the cold air come in and meets the warm, moist air, it's going to condense the moist air on the surface of the wall or shoes or what you have in the closet and create mold or mildew. the second way is bypasses or flowing air through the wall if they are not insulated. as the air flows it's cooling
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the wall the warm air hits the wall, turns to water that the mold grows on. ceiling up and preventing air from flowing up through the wall alone will help reduce that mold. >> moisture. we have to get the moisture out of the house. turn the kitchen fan on to capacity it; right ? other sources of moisture should be addressed when you take a shower. open the window. let the moist air out. don't rely on the little fans. >> the other thing is to control it when you turn on your kitchen hood fan you want to make sure you have a window open or something that will allow the air to come through there otherwise it will will suck it in through the places where the floor and the wall meet. or through the outlets and your switch places or the pipe penetrations under the sink and that's not where you want to have things growing. >> we don't heat and cool homes
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here the way other places in the country heat and cool homes. houses in san francisco traditionally were not insulated. newer homes are highly insulated. question of how you prioritize our expenditures for green building i'm curious to know how and where insulation fit necessary this prioritization chart. yew are right older homes and some people it's a cultural and a lifestyle what you are accustomed to doing much the very first home i was inlated as a weatherization contractor as we were leaving the house the gentlemen said, he must have been in his 70's and said, this is great now i can turn on the furnace. he never used the heat because he knew he was wasting money.
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now that we insulated his sealing and floors. >> probably wore a sweater. >> what i see a lot of in san francisco is in older house us that don't have insulation in the walls, that you are talking about the condensation of moisture. if you have an empty wall cavity and have air through leaks in the walls than more around old windows the moist air can condense in the wall cavity itself and cause mold to grow where you can't see it. you wonder what the problem is and people are getting ill and have allergic reactions it's the fact you don't have insulation in the walls and mold grows in the wall where you can't see it. it's a big problem in san francisco and people don't realize that. and the perception is you have a lot of ventilation in old houses
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and it's healthy and you seal the house up and you have problems. it's beyond that it's more complex where the insulation is. if you have uninsulated walls or ceilings it can contribute to the over all problem. >> if the living space is being pressurized at different points in time through your heating system. case in point would be, fairly tight space with a fully operating supply duct system but a big hole in the return air duct means youure end up with more pressure in the house. it would force warm, moist air out through the nooks and cranies and putting the warm, moist air into the wall cavity. if it's cold you could get that. the lady says she changed her lights to use high efficiency
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fixtures let's talk about that. >> did you have a -- was it one of these styled lamps here with the -- we have a couple of different styles here. these come in different watages and sizes this is the typical. >> it's like that. >> sometimes they put a cover over them but it's one of these with a plastic cover. >> put a thing on the top and it will look like a light bulb. >> this is a benefit in that when you are screwing these in and out you do it by the base don't do it by the glass you twist the glass off the base then you have mercury and powders. >> people say because there are hazardous materials in the new
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bulks if you look at the life cycle issues we are sending to the masht stream tens of thousands hazardous waste items that will be a problem to get rid of. >> if your electricity is cole based you are using mercury and these produce less mercury. in this lamp you can use the cover to screw and unscrew the lamp. you have less chance of damaging the lamp. >> how much do these cost? >> 6 or 7 dollars. the prices really vary. there's an unstream program the state has with the utilities, sometimes you find them for 50 cents or a dollars. >> there were a couple of issues raised one is that the they don't work with dimmers.
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>> dimmers, there are dimmable compact floresents you need to contact the lighting special shops in san francisco. there are a number of them if you look up in the yellow pages, i will not mention one. and talk to them about it and they will be able to provide you with a dimmable compact floresent. they do cost more. i still have compact floresents using in my house they installed 10 years ago. >> others raised the issue that the quality of light is not the familiar incan densent spectrum we are used to. >> it's very close. typically they are being made at 2700 degrees. that's a color not really a color, like a color temperature you can think of this that way. 2700 is pretty similar to your
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standard incandesant light bulk. you can get them higher temperatures that makes them whiter. the special shops you can get in in yellow, or orange or green e. >> question, do you wait until the light bulb goes out or replace them before? >> if you have a light bulb it's cost effective to take out a perfectly operating light bulb and throw it away much the compact floresents, wait until they burn out. they lose a little bit of over time but they will eventually go all at once. >> it looks like a flood light bulk with a compact floresent. >> it has a reflector here,
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that's what you put in the down cans you see in people's kitchen living rooms. >> why should people replace with compact floresents or other types. >> you will save 50-60 bucks on each one. why do you say that? >> the savings on the energy they use 25 percent of the energy it's actually 27 percent of the energy of the incandesant light bulb. >> over the course of -- >> over the life span these will typically last 8-10 times longer than a regular bulb. >> when we talk about energy savings it's over the life of the building? or that fixture, typically, so, you have a fixture in your front hall you screw one in you see
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the energy savings over the course of the life of the fixture. in san francisco buildings have no determined set life. once the building is over 50 years old it qualifies to be considered a historic building if it has historic merit. when we think about energy savings over time we are talking about the long time. it's hard for us to come to agreement with a lot of people on issues about building performance or building elements because we are not always talking about the same length of time. i bring it up so you think about when you consider your priorities, think about the length of time you are a mortiezing over. >> the other thing i would say tong about is think in terms of making sure that -- or thinking about whether or not you are doing something that's cost effective. a lot of times you are thinking about replacing a water heater
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ear refrigerator you are thinking, where can i find a refrigerator that will be the cheapest? and you end up buying the cheapest thing available thal end up costing you more in the next year because of the electricity it's consuming. >> you energy energy star. when does energy star mean? >> energy star is a u.s. government rating system for equipment that if it meets a minimum standard, that they set it can be energy star rated. so, we recommend that people buy energy star products, energy star light bulbs, dish washers, refrigerators et cetera. you want to make sure it's energy star in california we have labeling so when you buy yore refrigerator it has a yellow sticker that has an arrow and shows you on the line where
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this particular model is in relationship to other similar models of it's size and class. when i looked for a new refrigerator i bought the one where the arrow was off the lieb at the low end. i don't know how that happened i got one and dropped my electricity use in my home by over half. >> so refrigeration is -- >> it's a big one. if you have an old refrigerator sitting in the basement or garage and using it to keep the extra beer or extra whatever that is costing you a lot of money echl the best thing you can do is disconnect it and get it hauled away much the section best thing is to replace it with an energy star even though it's out of site it's not off of our electric bill. what this meant to me was a was looking at installing a solar
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electric system and putting in pv panels on the roof. the idea was to take all of my electricity and get it from the sun and i had a couple of contractors come out. i sized the system and knew it was going to cost me 22 thousand dollars to have that system installed. the state was going to give me a healthy rebate now you can get a federal tax credit on that. i thought 22 thousand dollar that's a lot. what are my monthly payments were going to be and didn't think i could do it. we replaced the old fridge and my electric bill dropped by half and now it would cost 10 thousand dollars to do the system. by buying a fridge that got scratcha at the wholesale for 350 bucks, i saved myself a 12
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thousand dollars solar investment. that was by far the cheapest thing i could do. when you are thinking about making your investments in your home think about what the real cost is going to be. >> we are talking about saving electrical energy one way is to change light bulbs and that's a high priority it's one of the things you might first do it's cheap and easy and reduces the number of times you have to get up on the ladder you might save yourself in the long run. there are other uses that are pervasive this little thing people call a wall wart. >> vampire. >> in my house we have a couple dozens how many do you have? >> i have 4 or 5 in my house. >> these are drawing power all the time. >> all the time.
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>> is that right? >> anything that's got electronics in it stereo or tv or your dish washer or clothes washer anything with buttons or lights or electronic button is drawing power out all times. as an example we have a tv a small tv set draws 50 watts. i put a watt meter on it when it was off it was drawing 15 watts. in your average home between 10 and 15 percent of your electric bill is coming from that 24 hour stand by power. >> here's one thing you can do you get a strip that has an on again/off again button when you don't have stuff connected to the transformer you shut the power strip off.
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when you have something plugged in you turn the power switch on. we have our microwave. clothes, washer, drier, all of these things. tv tv'st tv's stereos and put it on the power strip. >> a lot of people leave their computers on all the time. i keep hearing it's better to leave it on. it -- is this a myth it takes energy to start it up joochlt that's i myth. >> that's what i thought. gee the real question is is it good to turn it on and off. your computer, well -- computer life is determined by the advancement of the software your computer is obsolete at some point hard drives have a certain
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amount of life to them. if you have it running all the time you are chewing through the life while you are asleep or away, on vacation, going out to have coffee. that life is being drawn down. it may chew up a little bit of the life to turn it off but as soon as you turn is off it's stopped. you may shorten the run hours of your computer but you will extend it over the lifetime of your computer will extend in time. see if you want your computer you want your floresent lighting, your other lighting to last longer, turn it off when you are not using it. >> just as an addition we have a city policy if you leave your station for more than an hour you need to turn your computer off. >> this is a huge short circuit. you plug it in and it short circuits the power and heats up
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and has a plan that blows the heat from the -- there are some people who theorize one of the reasons that san francisco has a huge power spike in the early evenings is people coming home from work and turning on lights, appliances and electric heat. that's one of the leading theories about why we have the spike? >> 80-90 megawatts. >> huge. >> these are gigantic power eaters, what's the alternative to an electric heater if you want to keep yourself warm? >> well, it depends on how you are using it. if you are turning it on so it's heating you while you are present it may be the most efficient thing you can do. >> somebody was talking about replacing a furnace and i have
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seen a lot of people replacing furnaces looking for energy efficiency furnaces. there are different ways to rate furnaces. new requirements say they have to be the ducts have to be sealed and insulated and meet all the efficiency requirements. one of the most important things i have seen and believe we should look at and buying the smallest furnace you possibly can. i often see murnaces that are way over sized that are sufficient to heat the entire house and they cycle on and turn off and cycle and turn off rather than minimum heating availability. >> i have an 80,000 btu system in my house that's what was there when i bought it and i need less than 20,000.